If the NY Giants can use their cap space wisely during this upcoming free agency period, they will be able to draft the best players available and can find themselves back in contention in 2020.
It is essential that the NY Giants build a strong roster around Daniel Jones while he is still on his rookie contract. While the Cowboys will be forced to give Dak Prescott a huge new contract this offseason north of $30 million annually, Jones’ cap number will only be around $5 million for the 2020 season.
The best organizations take advantage of the seasons when their young, talented quarterback is playing on a cheap contract. Remember the dominant defense the Seattle Seahawks built around a young Russel Wilson? The Giants need to sign some dominant players this offseason on defense so they don’t have to rely too much on Jones in his second season.
What would the ideal free agency period look like for the Giants?
It would begin with cutting some veterans. Alec Ogletree, Antoine Bethea, Rhett Ellison, and Kareem Martin all have been underwhelming since joining the Giants as free agents. Cutting these four players would save the Giants an additional $20 million in cap space.
They also need to restructure Nate Solder‘s contract, or simply release him. As it stands, his contract will count almost $20 million against the cap. They should also release Golden Tate, a player that makes a lot of money and has a similar skill set to Sterling Shepard.
One player the Giants should resign is Leonard Williams. This is not just because they’ve already invested draft picks into acquiring him. Williams is an elite run defender at his position, and his sacks numbers should improve next season after the Giants acquire edge pass-rushers that force opposing quarterbacks to step up more in the pocket.
The first priority for the Giants when free agency starts should be Jadeveon Clowney. The Giants would finally have a stud on defense that other teams would need to game plan for. He can rush the passer off the edge, stop the run, and make opposing quarterbacks worried about where he is at all times.
The NY Giants also need to take a look at acquiring Kyle Van Noy to help bolster the pass rush. Not only did Van Noy get 8 sacks in his first season as a full-time pass rusher, but he also got credit for 60 QB pressures in 2019 according to Pro Football Focus. Joe Judge prefers versatile players, and Van Noy is much better against the run than other free agent pass rushers like Shaq Barrett and Yannick Ngakoue.
To further solidify the front seven, the Giants should stop neglecting the linebacker position and acquire Joe Schobert. The 26-year-old excels in pass coverage (4 interceptions in 2019 for the Cleveland Browns), is a great leader, and has all the intangibles Joe Judge would love to help lead the defense.
Another player the Giants should sign to help their defense is Chris Harris Jr. Not only would he be a better mentor for the young Giants cornerbacks than Janoris Jenkins was, but he’d also be much more versatile too. Harris is at his best when he is working out of the slot, but he is versatile enough to play well on the outside too.
The NY Giants should further solidify their secondary and break the bank for safety Anthony Harris. The Vikings stud led all safeties in interceptions last season and earned an insane 91.6 coverage grade from pro-football focus in 2019. This would create an exciting and aggressive safety tandem with Jabril Peppers, and allow Julian Love to be a versatile backup that can be used all over the secondary.
The NY Giants should resist the temptation of acquiring any more offensive weapons during free agency. They should go back to being a team that can win games with their defense. By giving their defense a serious infusion of talent during free agency, it will allow the Giants to draft the best players available and take advantage of strong wide receiver and offensive tackle draft classes.